Online Job Titles All Over the Map

June 3rd, 2008; 8:00 am by Ryan Thornburg

One of the reasons we’re doing this study is because its nearly impossible to tell from someone’s job title what they actually do in an online newsroom. If we don’t know what people do, we don’t know how to train them, hire them or judge their performance.

I definitely found some evidence of that in my survey. Of the 70 respondents, there were 55 different job titles that appeared on the paper’s masthead. Only four job titles appeared at more than one organization: content producer, general manager, online editor and online producer.

I’ll report later on some efforts to standardize these job descriptions and answer that burning question (OK, maybe not burning. Maybe smoldering.): What exactly IS a “producer,” anyway?

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